Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Tuesday, April 30, 2019: Lethal force, cell towers, teen drinking

A cellular phone tower before its removal from Weston Elementary School in Ripon, Calif.
A cellular phone tower before its removal from Weston Elementary School in Ripon, Calif. jlee@modbee.com

Officers must have flexibility

Re “Our View: Many sides on police use of lethal force, but action is needed” (Page 9A, April 26): I find it disconcerting that the Modesto Bee Editorial Board should take it upon themselves to provide a legal opinion on police use of lethal force. The editorial actually confuses the issues. They make reference to a “long-held standard of whether the average officer would find it reasonable to take deadly aim.” This is not correct. It is never reasonable to shoot and kill someone, but sometimes it’s necessary to save lives.

The standard that I worked under for 30-plus years is that when the officer reasonably believes that he or she, or others, are in imminent threat of great bodily harm or death , the officer may take steps to neutralize that threat and may use lethal force to do so if all other remedies are exhausted.

It is never just reasonable to shoot and kill someone. That is always a last resort, and the referenced case in Ripon will be decided by the legal system.

James Wells, Modesto

Beware cell tower unknowns

5G downloads data 100 times faster. 5G is fast, but it has to have the earth covered with towers that have high radiation output, and can be dangerous, just for the increase in speed. That’s like Henry Ford producing, instead of a Model T, an amazing vehicle that would go 2000 mph for one block.

Is it worth having a tower on every block? Is it worth the speed if there is a danger of cancer, tumors and other illnesses? Radiation can be tested in a way that shows it is safe. The school in Ripon has a 5G tower and has had children and others come down with tumors and cancer. There should be investigations to determine the danger.

Jerry Couchman, Modesto

Teens don’t always tune out

While Alcohol Responsibility Month is a good time to talk to your child about underage drinking, it should not be a one-time discussion.

Research is clear that parents are the greatest influence over a youth’s decision regarding drinking or not drinking. Talking to your son or daughter early and often about alcohol is critical, and these conversations are making a difference. According to the annual Monitoring the Future survey funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, binge drinking among 12th grade students is at historic lows, down 55 percent over the past two decades.

Even if parents believe their teens are tuning them out, it’s important to keep up the dialogue. The fact is teens are listening, and they’re making better decisions.

Benjamin Nordstrom, Executive Director, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Arlington, VA

Scholarship fundraising appreciation

I want to thank all the good people for supporting the Ernie Bucio and Evin Yadegar MJC Scholarship fundraiser, and the musicians who volunteered their time and fine musicianship: Camaraderie, Central Valley Brass, Hilmar Community Band, Gottschalk Music Center Concert Band, Ernie Bucio’s Little Big Band, the Elegant Ladies of Jazz, NewHorizonJazz, New Horizons Concert Band, David Dow’s OPEN JAM, Talisman, Esoteric, How It Ends, and the MJC Jazz Band.

Ruthie Carrillo, Ernie’s sister, ran the raffle. Thanks goes to her and our many generous donors.

Lastly, I thank Hanibal for again hosting this event, which sadly also honors his (late) wife, Evin.

It is a very exhausting but rewarding event. We all got a chance to remember Ernie and Evin together and at the same time carry on the efforts of helping upcoming young musicians.

Karen Dunbar Bucio, Modesto

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